Actress Lily James has opened up about her desire to be a “positive influencer” - walking in the footsteps of her inspirations Beyonce, Cara Delevingne and Whitney Houston.
“If I am to be a role model to young girls, I want it to be something healthy because I worry about a level of self-obsession with perfection that can become so contagious and so destructive. I want to be a positive influencer,” James told Modern Luxury in a recent interview.
James says her own role models include Cara Delevingne, saying “It’s so about [Delevingne’s] soul and about who she is that makes people want to look at her face. Beauty is much more than just how you look or posing in a photo. It’s about your essence.”
She also said she counts Janis Joplin and Joni Mitchell as favourites, but continued, “I would like to dance like Beyoncé on stage with the wind machine. I mean, who am I kidding, I’d be Whitney Houston. That voice! I literally cry every time I listen to her.”
James is currently starring in West End production All About Eve as Eve Harrington, a character she called “complicated...toxic and desperate and brutal” - an intentional shift from her roles in Cinderella and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.
She explained, “I feel like I’m in this stage of my life where I feel more assured and brave enough to go and speak about what matters to me. I want to keep playing really different people--people who think or operate or engage with the world in a way that I want to explore.”
With film success and a Burberry fragrance campaign under her belt, James revealed that it’s still “sort of bizarre to me to even associate myself with that”. She revealed that she tries to “be true to [herself]” and continued, “I know that I’m flawed, and I know that I’m not perfect... I think it all comes from within.”
The All About Eve star also called her desire to use her platform for good her “next journey”. James made headlines last year on Red Nose Day when she played Hugh Grant’s daughter in a Four Weddings and a Funeral mini sequel, raising money for Comic Relief. Beyond that, she’s also worked to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Lily James’ full interview with Modern Luxury can be read here.